Lately, I’ve been asking myself this question: Why do we often times wait until someone dies before we write down how we really feel about their life, their heart and soul, their victories and contributions? After all, I’m learning more and more that at the end of the day, almost everything means absolutely nothing. But, there is one thing that truly means something – relationships. Love for God, Love for loved ones, and love for those we don’t even know (my most difficult personal challenge). So, rather than waiting any longer, I decided to write a letter in honor of my mother – a woman who whole-heartedly understands the true meaning of life:
I know God doesn’t have favorites; He loves us all the same. But if He did, you would most certainly be his favorite. Why? Many, many reasons. For one, you don’t have one regret in this life. Okay, just one – the regret that you’re allergic to chocolate – milky, creamy, heavenly, endorphin-releasing, mouth-watering chocolate. And, while we’re all sorry for that, unlike most regrets in life, that one is out of your control. Here are other reasons why God would love you best…
You called me a winner even when I lost. I remember placing 5th, out of five, in the 100-yard dash. But, you said I was number one in your eyes.
You taught me how to serve even when I was selfish. I’ll never forget the days we would head out delivering, “Meals on Wheels.” At first, I was a little scared about visiting these “old” people, but it didn’t take long before I was attached to each one of them and looked forward to our weekly visits.
You showed me how to be the hands and feet of Jesus not by making me repeat a memorized prayer, but by spending Saturday afternoons making PB&J and delivering them to the homeless lying in the streets of 69th street. And, let’s not forget the letters I would help you write to the prison inmates serving life sentences to let them know they were forgiven in the eyes of God.
You told me I was the best even when I sang off key. I have a vivid memory of a recital, during which I followed the girl who sang Italian Opera with my rendition of an out of tune, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Oh, my voice was somewhere out there all right, but you gave me a standing ovation and told me I was an amazing singer. There are those that would call that lying. But, in my humble opinion, more parents should tell those types of fibs.
You supported me, believed in me, and encouraged me to follow my dreams when everybody thought my aspirations of being on TV were unrealistic. You called over 100 news stations to get contact info before the days of the Internet, helped me package, mail and deliver over 70 resume tapes. I’ll never forget the moments you cried with me after reading the more than 50 rejection letters I received in response. When I finally did land my first TV reporter gig in North Carolina, you came to visit. When the News Director showed you a closet full of resume tapes and explained to you how lucky your daughter was to have this job, your sassy reply, “No sir, you’re luck to have my daughter.” My former boss and I still laugh about that story.
And, following a fight with a mean friend, I’ll never forget you went down to the local Trolley Stop, got down on your hands and knees, pulled tissues from your purse, and wiped off the derogatory chalk graffiti on the sidewalk written about me out of an act of revenge. You used those tissues more than once; they wiped my snotty nose, wiped my teary eyes, and wiped the dirt and blood off of my little boo-boos.
And, when you finally enter the gates of heaven and meet our Holy Father, this is what I predict he’ll say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you are my child, delight of my life, chosen and marked by my love, whom I love and am well pleased. I don’t have favorites but if I did, you would definitely be it!” Then, he’ll hand you a big eternal chocolate bar. To which your reply will be, “Thanks! My daughter told me you were going to say that. Oh, and may I please have the one with caramel!”